Elderly, diabetics at high risk from virus, says study

Elderly, diabetics at high risk from virus, says study
Elderly, diabetics at high risk from virus, says study

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

A five-month risk profiling study, on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) done among 3,277 multi-ethnic employees in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), has confirmed conclusions of earlier overseas research works that at risk for the SARS-CoV2 are the elderly, the diabetics, and sufferers of chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, aside from the immunocompromised.

Part of the regular check-ups and counseling programme of the RAK Hospital-Arabian Wellness (Lifestyle and Wellness Division) to its corporate clients, the August 2020 to January 2021 study was conducted to “help all individuals, especially the high risks to take proactive measures in order to reduce chances of getting the infection,” according to Wellness chief officer Prof. Adrian Kennedy.

Meanwhile, as two hospital studies in the US-Massachusetts General Hospital and University of Michigan Hospital – in the second and third quarters of 2020 – have disclosed that recovering/recovered COVID19 patients may experience severe blood clotting conditions, medical specialists, led by Vascular and Endovascular surgeon/consultant Dr. Ali Keivanjah of the Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, have described the case of Indian businessman Sreenivas Rao “a miracle.”

The September 2020 “COVID-19 and Blood Clots” from the Massachusetts General Hospital conducted by the Harvard School of Medicine states: “Patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19 infections who have high levels of the blood clotting protein factor V are at elevated risk for serious injury from blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism...Patients with severe COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV2 can develop blood clots in medical lines, such as intravenous lines and catheters, and in arteries, lungs and extremities, including the toes.” In the November 2020 “New Cause of COVID-19 Blood Clots Identified,” from the University of Michigan Hospital, Michigan Medicine researchers, have claimed discovery of the “mechanism” by which two autoantibodies “relentlessly self-amplify inflammation and clotting.”

Rao’s case began when he was holidaying with his family in their home country where he acquired COVID-19. Thereafter, while having recovered, he suddenly collapsed by the fourth week of November. A rush to the hospital showed that he was already afflicted with thrombosis, the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels leading to the obstruction of blood flow which may severely damage the brain and lungs. He underwent an open surgery instead of the amputation of his legs. Nonetheless, the nagging pain still existed.

Fast forward to December 7 when family returned to the UAE, the resident for over 20 years consulted several doctors until he virtually met the Burjeel Hospital specialists. On Dec.28, the medical team performed on Rao an interventional surgical procedure including angiography, catheter thrombectomy, ballooning and multiple stent implantation “as any other procedure possessed a risk of infection resulting in the amputation of the legs.”

Keivanjah also said: “The blood clotting had affected all the arterial vessels of Sreeniva’s legs, and there were some complications of the surgery he had undergone in India. We told him all the risks. He was positive and calm. His recovery is stupendous. He can now walk in a single stretch.”

Discharged a few days after his surgery, Rao currently briefly walks twice a day. His family is grateful.

On the RAK study, the participants from 22 companies were a total of 76 Middle Easterners, 3,153 other Asians, 31 Africans, and 17 Europeans/Australians. The age range was 25 to 65. The median age was 40 years old.

Out of the 3,277, 328 (17 per cent) are at high risk while 2,688 (82 per cent) are at medium risk of getting infected with the SARS-CoV2 due to various health conditions. The top contributory factors are overweight-ness/obesity at 2,632 (62 per cent), fast food diet at 1,677 (51 per cent), smoking at 1,475 (45 per cent), over age 50 at 1,311 (40 per cent), cardiac ailments at 1,081 (33 per cent), lack of physical activity at 852 (26 per cent), and other factors at 754 (23 per cent).

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